Anybody want to talk about the changes at Marketforce?

I have all MF contact numbers appropriately labeled: MF Foreign, MF Awesome, MF so-so.

Don't answer the ones you don't like. They seem to be relying on lowball phone offers and 2 dollar bonus emails.

Samantha sent some offers, I responded. They were not assigned to me and still sit on the board. Strange.

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I had one of the foreign schedulers today offer me $10 for an urgent end of month gas station audit that is posted online for $22. When I told her what the online pay was, she upped her offer to $15. Uh, that's still less. I asked her why I would accept the job for less than what they are offering online, and she said "So are you telling me that you need the amount that the website is offering?" Well, actually I would need more because if I wanted it at the price the website was offering, I would have taken it. They used to offer much more for these jobs, but now they do not accept the larger bonus requests.

Today, one of them offered me $4 for an already past-due fast food shop that was a 200 mile trip. When I told them it was 200 miles, they upped the offer to $8. They must be struggling with competition from other companies, and are afraid of losing their clients by paying shoppers high fees, but are struggling to get the remote shops done at the low pay.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2017 08:58PM by mjt9598.
The phone calls are so annoying because the caller doesn’t know English well enough to go off script.
It makes me cringe to answer the phone and be addressed by my full (including middle) name.
They can’t give partial details about a shop to assess interest- they always give the location, full address, hours, instructions, fee, etc before giving me a chance to reply.
Every fee conversation becomes a negotiation game that I don’t have time or interest to play. For instance, they will call to offer a shop that typically pays $6 (and I will take it for this if I’m in the mood), but they are offering $11. If I’m not in the mood, $11 isn’t enough motivation. I’ll tell them what I need to do the shop (usually $15-20 fee) and they say the most they are allowed to do is $13.
I’ve started responding that I understand and they can let me know when they are able to meet my fee. Then I disconnect the call because I don’t have time for the long end of call conversation. Within 30 seconds they are ringing me again and can suddenly offer the $15. I’m tempted to decline but I don’t want to be their level of petty.

Shopping since 2009
MSPA Gold
@Rooper7 wrote:

They called me yesterday for a wireless shop 20 miles form me for $7. I asked the guy if he would do it for $7. He then upped it to $15. I passed. When I checked the same shop on their website, it was $18. Yes, they have gotten very cheap and argumentative when you decline.
" I’m tempted to decline but I don’t want to be their level of petty."

If you're talking about the callers from the Philipines, (can't spell it today), their legal minimum wage, set by the government, is five dollars a DAY.

I can understand someone who makes $8 a day (considered an excellent wage there) to think the $80 I need for a shop 100 miles away is an astonishing amount of money.

I can certainly understand that they can't understand why I would not take what is to them a full day's pay for a quick shop and report.

Such an interesting discussion! I do wonder if this new attitude will result in shops not done, quotas not met, clients lost, Marketforce a smaller part of the MS'ing universe.
So, you folks are thinking they they are allowed to think and feel they way that we can as an employee or an independent contractor? They work at a call center. They have very strict guidelines; very few things that they can say or address and very specific things they can say and must say. Not a US call center where they are allowed to listen to our petty stories about how we are, or are not, going to be 'lowered' to 'their' standard. That anyone imagines that our pompous US based attitude with our getting mad because we are insulted about the fee or hanging up on a human being because we don't want to hear part of the conversation affects them as a person is hilarious. Use your words. If you need $40, tell them you need $40. If you are going to hang up on them, tell them and they'll let you go. "OK, you have a good day, bye" works. If you can't keep your emotion out of a financial negotiation over $5, how are you keeping your emotion out of it when you're on the job.
@mjt9598 wrote:

I had one of the foreign schedulers today offer me $10 for an urgent end of month gas station audit that is posted online for $22. When I told her what the online pay was, she upped her offer to $15. Uh, that's still less. I asked her why I would accept the job for less than what they are offering online, and she said "So are you telling me that you need the amount that the website is offering?" Well, actually I would need more because if I wanted it at the price the website was offering, I would have taken it. They used to offer much more for these jobs, but now they do not accept the larger bonus requests.

That pisses me off too. Scheduler offers the lowest base possible while the website is 2 dollars more. Wastes my time with their scripted nonsense. This is why I only answer their calls on Sundays-Wednesday when they really need someone to do the shop.

Love. Not Hate. Life is too short to spend time hating one another. We're all in this together
If I say that the lowest I can do is $30 for that shop and the scheduler says that the most they can offer is $27, should I stay firm on the $30? I tend to say fine because I don't want to risk losing the shop over a couple of dollars.

Love. Not Hate. Life is too short to spend time hating one another. We're all in this together
@ceasesmith wrote:

I can understand someone who makes $8 a day (considered an excellent wage there) to think the $80 I need for a shop 100 miles away is an astonishing amount of money.

I can certainly understand that they can't understand why I would not take what is to them a full day's pay for a quick shop and report.
I'm going to disagree. It doesn't seem like you are giving their intelligence any credit. They are not dumb clucks. It's their job to get the best deal they can. They are working at a call center calling the US and will know the difference in the value of our money vs their pesos.
I did not impugn their intelligence. I would not insult the intelligence of any one able to communicate in a language not their own. If someone is working full time and supporting a family on $8 a day, all I said is I can understand how they could not understand that $8 is NOTHING to me.

It's a cultural rift, nothing to do with intelligence.
According to a 2013 article, employees in call centers start at about $400 USD per month. It is just as likely they don't understand the geography since the U.S. is 33x the size of the Philippines.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
One major problem with MarketForce is like a lot of others -- outsourcing the work outside of the US. They are trying to cut corners and pay overseas help. The outsourcers do not understand anything except what they are given. There is no negotiating with them in any way. They have their figures and that is all they can comprehend.
It's not all they can comprehend, but they are only allowed to say what they are only allowed to say. I worked at Greyhound, at the call center, and we had very strict guidelines that we had to follow. Many, many, many customers would get all huffy and puffy when they had to listen to the formed sentences and responses I was required. I wanted to crawl through the phone and throttle them. Even though they were speaking over me, I had to close my eyes and give them the spiel, including all disclaimers or I would be fired. It's no different for them.
When I spoke to the offshore customer service rep, she verbatim repeated her closing spiel 3 times in a row. After I asked a question, she would repeat her spiel again. It was hard to understand at times and in such a low voice (like she was far away) but it's something I respect. They are just doing what they are told to do. Could and should MF have better reps, yes. Could they make more intelligent offers, yes. But it isn't that horrible of an experience. At least there is someone to talk to.
I was absolutely SHOCKED last Sunday when the Islander for MF called me about a burger shop that was about 1:45 away. I had just been in that area a few days prior. I gave him a bonus price of $75 thinking... "No way will they accept this." He submitted it to his super and I got the email that it was accepted! That is the best I ever got from one of the Islanders. And thankfully I was able to find a few more jobs to put with it. It was a very good Monday for me last week. :-)

TinaMarie
@DavePi wrote:

If I say that the lowest I can do is $30 for that shop and the scheduler says that the most they can offer is $27, should I stay firm on the $30? I tend to say fine because I don't want to risk losing the shop over a couple of dollars.

It's up to you. For me, it would depend on what other opportunities I had brewing. I've nearly quit over a pay drop from $25 to $21 per shop (which adds up when one gets 3 to 4 shops per month at that price).
Has anyone contacted
-*-*-*-*-*-*
Karen S.
Shopper Advocate
Market Force Help Desk
-*-*-*-*-*-*-
regarding the decline in bonuses and fees? I am assuming she is an Advocate for Shoppers per the title in her signature block...but I have been known to be wr-wr-wr-wrong before! :-)

******* ***** ***** *****
To the World You Just Might Be One Person,
But to One Person, You JUST Might Be THE WORLD!
******* ***** ***** *****
I don't know that it will help, I wrote to her and the person who responded when I asked for a supervisor:

Simone
Shopper Advocate
Market Force Help Desk
Oh. Well. That's just Peachy. ;-)
But, Thank you, thou, for the information,

******* ***** ***** *****
To the World You Just Might Be One Person,
But to One Person, You JUST Might Be THE WORLD!
******* ***** ***** *****
Boy im glad i havent signed up with MF, Yes i agree they used to pay well but im glad i read these blogs. ust getting back into Mystery shopping after a long hiatis
MF does have some shops for very good pay, depending on where you live and if they need to get a shop done.
It doesn't hurt to be signed up with them.
Absolutely sign up for them and try it for yourself. I heard all sorts of stories about how difficult Martiz was and the job was one of the easiest I've ever done.
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

They called me today and asked me to shop a location about 40 miles away for $7. I said I'd do it for $35 and they declined. I won't go across the street for $7.
He He. I have been getting calls offering jobs for less than what the same job/location./date is showing for on the job board. Interesting business model. Recently I pointed out that I have received $25 for the same job (the caller was offering was $7.) When I got pushback, I gave them the date two months earlier that I was paid $25 each for two jobs. They said, yes, I got $25 but they couldn't offer it this time. Lesson learned. (And never answer the phone on Sunday morning if you don;t want any MFI shops to do on Monday.) Nice being an IC. I don't have to take anything I don't feel is worth it.

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
@DrSquash wrote:

@DavePi wrote:

If I say that the lowest I can do is $30 for that shop and the scheduler says that the most they can offer is $27, should I stay firm on the $30? I tend to say fine because I don't want to risk losing the shop over a couple of dollars.

It's up to you. For me, it would depend on what other opportunities I had brewing. I've nearly quit over a pay drop from $25 to $21 per shop (which adds up when one gets 3 to 4 shops per month at that price).
Say goodbye to that $21 shop, tool It did help my monthly bottom line. Everything is a business and everyone needs to make a profit. Like everyone else, my business model is to make a profit. I will really miss those $21 shops.

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
A local scheduler offered a phone shop 62 miles away for $70 last month to a friend of mine. The scheduler called me to do it in September. I asked about the same fee. I was told the highest they would go was $50... They also usually pay $45 for the hedge hog shop in the same town. I told the scheduler that I would take the cell phone shop if they would get the other shop at $45. They came back to the scheduler and said that they would give me $30 for each shop... I told the scheduler that I was not driving 125 miles round trip for that and to just scrap both shops. I also mentioned that they only day that I could do the shops was the next day, the 28th. The scheduler called his supervisor and raised cane, saying that I was willing to do both shops for $80, when they usually paid $115 for both. They said, "But the shopper will be in far away town already, so why not do both?" The scheduler told his boss that I was ONLY going to that town for both shops at higher fees and if they cut the fees, it was not worth my time and effort. They gave me both for $80.

I told the scheduler that I felt like MF thought we were being greedy and the scheduler said that it was MF who was being greedy. They don't seem to understand that driving over an hour each way, plus the gas, doing the shop, reporting the shop is a lot. That was about three hours of my time for $80 plus gas and they think that I'm being greedy. Nope. If you want me to drive to BFE, you'll have to pay me to do it.
I happen to like the overseas call center. I have relationships with several us-based schedulers. Sometimes I'm in a small town, I know there's a shop I could get a bonus on, and I need it right then. I may not get an answer from one of the us-based schedulers because they might be off or talking to somebody else. But, I know the call center will always answer my call. They'll submit the same bonuses that the us-based schedulers will, and in my experience, they have the same likelihood of being accepted. You just have to take two or three minutes to wait for them to do their little Spiel. I don't think there's anything all that particularly egregious about it. However, it is getting harder to get big bonuses with Market Force. One thing that I've learned is to never accept the shop for less than what you think it's worth. Once you've accepted a shop at a low Baseline pay, they will very rarely ever give you more. They always go back and say "but hey you did it for this much so long ago." I had to be firm and hold out on my amounts, but in the end I got most of them. I ended up making about $2,200 last month of Market Force in about three and a half days of work.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2017 04:43PM by thunderdeacon.
@pattim wrote:

One major problem with MarketForce is like a lot of others -- outsourcing the work outside of the US. They are trying to cut corners and pay overseas help. The outsourcers do not understand anything except what they are given. There is no negotiating with them in any way. They have their figures and that is all they can comprehend.

Welcome to standard business practices in 2017. Outsourcing to other countries for everything is where our economy is headed to maintain the competitive edge over their competition.... I strongly disagree with it as it's giving away our work to others just to maintain a competitive price for their cheapo clients. It's happening in all industries.... Even in my full-time industry in the engineering consulting world.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 27 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
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